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European Court of Human Rights; Finland: Court Rules on Change of Gender Issue

(Aug. 1, 2014) On July 16, 2014, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that a transgender Finnish woman had not been deprived of her right to private life and family life as guaranteed by article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms when […]

Iceland: Icelandic Bankers Jailed for Fraud

(July 30, 2014) In a decision issued by the Reykjavik district court on December 12, 2013, two bank directors were among the parties imprisoned for fraud in connection with the banking crisis of 2008. (Dómur: Héraðsdóms Reykjavíkur 12. desember 2013 í máli nr. S-127/2012 [Judgment: Reykjavík District Court December 12, 2013 in case no. S-127/2012], […]

Denmark: Recent Bank and Tax Statements on Bitcoin

(July 16, 2014) On March 18, 2014, the Danish Central Bank issued a statement declaring that Bitcoin is not a currency. The Bank went on to explain, “Bitcoin does not have any real trading value compared to gold and silver, and thus is more similar to glass beads.” (Press Release, Bitcoin er ikke penge, Danish […]

Sweden: Child in Protective Care Following Excessive Online Gaming

(July 16, 2014) On April 11, 2014, the District Administrative Court in Linköping, Sweden, granted a petition by the Socialnämnd (Social Welfare Committee) to take a 14 year-old youth into protective care based on his excessive gaming. (14-åring tvångsvårdas för datorspelande – “socialt nedbrytande situation,” DAGENS JURIDIK (Apr. 16, 2014).) The child had not attended […]

Norway: Begging to Become Illegal Again

(July 16, 2014) As of July 1, 2014, Norwegian municipalities have the right to make begging illegal. Members of the governing parties of the Stortinget (the country’s legislature) made a compromise with the Center Party (Senterpartiet) to acknowledge the right of self-governance of municipalities; specifically, their right to regulate begging locally. As part of the […]

Denmark: Kosher Slaughter Method Effectively Banned

(June 2, 2014) On February 17, 2014, new animal protection measures entered into force effectively banning kosher slaughter practices in Denmark. Unsedated slaughter has been illegal in Denmark for years, but there has been an exemption for religious slaughter, i.e. kosher and halal practices. That exemption has now been repealed, making kosher slaughter in principle […]

Norway: Potential Terrorists Prosecuted for Planning to Support Terrorism in Syria

(May 30, 2014) On May 27, 2014, Norwegian prosecutors took three Norwegians into custody on charges of preparing to commit terrorist acts. The three men, all Norwegians, one originally from Somalia and two brothers originally from Yugoslavia, are suspected of intending to fight for and financially support ISIL in Syria, which is listed as a […]

Sweden: Groundbreaking Supreme Court Award for Unlawful Loss of Citizenship

(Apr. 30, 2014) On April 23, 2014, the Swedish Supreme Court rendered a groundbreaking verdict against the state, requiring it to pay SEK100,000 (about US$15,224) in damages to an individual who had been stripped of his Swedish citizenship in violation of the Constitution. (Högsta Domstolen [HD] [Supreme Court] 2014-04-23 T 5516-12, Högsta Domstolen website.) In […]

Sweden: Data Retention No Longer Required of Telecom Companies

(Apr. 24, 2014) Following the April 8, 2014, verdict of the Court of Justice of the European Union invalidating the European Data Retention Directive, the Swedish oversight authority Post-och Telestyrelsen (PTS) announced on April 10, 2014, that it will not take actions against operators that stop collecting data. (Press Release, Judgment in Joined Cases C-293/12 […]